i3 - November/December 2020 - 19

Even so, digital productions don't
induce the emotional attachment to a
vehicle that driving it in the real world
does, Fischer maintains. "The work really
starts when the car gets to the dealerships,"
he says.
One automaker attempting to bring
emotion to the digital experience is Lucid
Motors, a startup EV maker that aims to
compete with high-end marques like
Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi with a
range of Air luxury sedans. In partnership
with auto industry supplier ZeroLight,
Lucid Motors, a startup EV
it has developed a unique online
maker, aims to compete with
shopping tool named the
high-end automakers with its
Lucid Air "Design Yours"
Air luxury sedans.
Conf igurator, which
was a catalyst for
mimics a videogame to
produce a digital twin of
"configurator" customers use to virtually build a vehicle on
manufacturers to
the customers car that
the Nissan website. In May the automaker launched Nissan
is streamed from the
Shop at Home, and the first week brought a 100% increase
cloud. The twin is crein activity and a significantly higher conversion rate to
ated from the data
actual sales leads for dealers, she says.
that were in place."
developed in designing
Nissan experimented with Facebook Live, too, in pilots
-Allyson Witherspoon,
the car itself, which allows
with seven dealerships that created video content to explain
Nissan North
the configurator to be
a vehicle's connected tech features to potential customers.
America Inc.
instantly updated whenever
More than 100 videos garnered over 100,000 views. "It was a way
new features, colors or materials
for them to take what was an in-store experience and make that virare made available.
tual" - and many included live question-and-answer sessions to create a
Plus, the cloud-based solution mirrors
"one-to-one connection that you usually have as part of the shopping prothe in-person sales experience, permitting
cess but for several reasons wasn't there anymore due to the pandemic,"
a customer to interact with a car from home
Witherspoon says. "Essentially we're creating paths and letting consumers
while a salesperson virtually guides him or
decide what they're comfortable with, and ensuring that we have the techher through its key features and configuranology to enable that," she says.
tion options, without requiring screen sharAversion to public transportation and ride-hailing caused by COVID-19
ing. At a Lucid dealership, the customer can
concerns has led to an ownership renaissance, with first-time car buyers
use a 4K-resolution virtual reality (VR)
viewing their personal vehicle as a private sanctuary, says Reinhard Fischer,
display to finalize the configuration. The
senior vice president of strategy at Volkswagen North America. That has
entire solution showcases a number of
inspired VW to explore what alterations can be made to vehicles to oblige
"world's first" innovations from ZeroLight,
this mindset, and possible solutions have included using virus-resistant
according to Lucid: the first cloud-based
materials. For instance, Fischer says, a UV light could be integrated with a
ray-traced rendering, cloud-rendered voluwireless charging pad to kill germs on the surface of a cell phone.
metric video environment and the first
The pandemic also forced new car launches to online venues. Ford Motor
multi-user, multi-car VR experience.
Co. debuted its new F-150 pickup truck and Bronco SUV via YouTube, FCA
Lucid's first vehicle, the Air Dream
(Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) held a Google Hangouts meeting to discuss its
Edition, will be built in its new factory in
SRT brand's 2021 lineup, and Mercedes-Benz leveraged a dedicated digital
Casa Grande, AZ, and customers will
media platform named Mercedes me media to stage half-hour broadcastreceive their vehicles next spring - about
quality shows under the Meet Mercedes DIGITAL moniker. Although the
the same time the pharmaceutical indusplatform began in late 2019 to launch the GLA and E-Class cars, it gained
try anticipates delivering its own world's
attention during the pandemic when it hosted a mini-series of four Meet the
first, COVID-19 vaccines. 
S-Class Digital episodes - introducing the new 2021 S-Class expected to
arrive in the U.S. mid-next year.
"You're going to see this more and more," says VW's Fischer. It's easy to have
AUTOMAKERS will share tech
the presenters socially distanced from one another, "and it turns out to be quite
innovations at CES 2021.
cost-efficient to use technology to promote a new model."


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10/20/20 10:15 AM

https://www.lucidmotors.com/ https://www.lucidmotors.com/ http://vw.com http://ford.com http://ford.com https://www.fcagroup.com/en-US/group/regions/Pages/northamerica.aspx https://www.mbusa.com/en/home https://www.ces.tech/ http://cta.tech/i3

i3 - November/December 2020

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